Offshore Energy Center's Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum and Education Center


What are the things that look like oil rigs I can see from the beach / pier?

They ARE rigs!  Specifically, they are offshore drilling rigs.  The term “oil rig” is used like the word “vehicle.”  There are lots of different kinds and that’s just one of the things you can learn in the museum.

So what is this thing?

A science museum and education center focused on the offshore oil and gas industry that is housed on a retired jackup drilling rig named Ocean Star.

Do you get to go onto an actual rig? Is that a real rig?

Yes.  It is a real rig that worked for approximately 20 years in the Gulf of Mexico.  It was retired, modified for public accessibility and now houses the museum building.

Do you have to take a boat?

No.  While the Ocean Star is situated in the water as a proper jackup rig should be, there is a pedestrian bridge that connects to the public pier where our gift shop building and ticket sales office is located.

Do you need a hardhat?

Not at all.  There are no wardrobe restrictions, but shirts and shoes are appreciated.  Please remember this is a family friendly museum and cover up bathing suits.

What about wheelchairs?

All are welcome! While the entrance bridge can look intimidating, it is wheelchair compliant and the museum meets all Texas Accessibility and ADA standards.  There is an elevator inside the museum building, and even the rig floor and pipe deck can be navigated by a wheelchair.

So what do we do? What all do you get to see?

There are three floors of exhibits related to the offshore oil and gas industry.  This includes film presentations, video kiosks, interactive displays, actual examples of equipment like drill bits and ROVs, scale models of the different kinds of rigs used to explore and produce, and informational exhibits about careers, environment, history, safety, and regulations.

So can we go onto the pipe deck and/or rig floor?

Yes.  The pipe deck, or main deck, has multiple exhibits and equipment displayed, while the rig floor has been interpreted and even has a video loop showing animation of how the drilling equipment would operate.

Can we see the bunks and where they lived?

No.  The area devoted to living space on this particular rig is what was renovated into a museum building.  There is a large “Life on a rig” exhibit with a mock-up living space and a video tour of a modern facility.

So when do the tours start? How long does it take?

It’s a self-guided facility so you can tour at any pace you prefer.  Allow at least an hour to walk through everything, all day to really get an education!  There is a 15-minute film we recommend as you start your tour, and staff docents on the rig get you started and can answer questions.

If you have any questions or would like more information about planning your visit, please contact:

Monica Crossno, Operations Manager
Phone: 409.766.7827
Email: [email protected]